Charity

‘My mother’s death made me write … the magical cottage on Arran will help others’

By Ian Marland at

Like in the children’s books she writes, it has a black ‘liquorice’ door and a porthole window that looks out on to a magical world.

A cottage on Arran is where Angela Proctor based her acclaimed Thumble Tumble stories.

And it is where six young families going through treatment for cancer will spend their holidays this summer.

Author Angela Proctor

Writer: Angela Proctor is the author of the Thumble Tumble series

Angela, who lives in the Park area by Charing Cross, has gifted the use of her family’s holiday cottage to give others a respite break.

It’s thought to be the first time the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow has had a donation of this kind.

For Angela, who runs a successful financial services company near Kelvingrove Park, the offer is part of a journey she has been on since losing her mother to cancer four years ago.

For Angela …  the offer is part of a journey she has been on since losing her mother to cancer four years ago.

Her writing was a direct response to the overwhelming sadness that followed her mother Jessie’s death.

It was Angela’s husband Scott who said she should write down the bedtime stories she had told their young children.

Writing turned out to be a means of focusing after the bereavement – a way of getting through the down times in the day.

Angela Proctor and her mum

Loss: Angela on her wedding day with her mother Jessie

After three books, and with a fourth on the way – the writing has grown a life of its own.

For Angela, the money her books raise goes back to the Beatson Cancer Charity.

“After my mother died, I was not focusing – I was quite sad. I think depressed is a strong word, but I was sad.

‘Really difficult’

“It’s still difficult to think about my mum – but at the time I was finding it really difficult.

“So writing just fills up all my spare time.”

She adds: “My cottage is the magical cottage out of the fairytales in the book.

“This month it is being donated to the Beatson (Cancer Centre) for six weeks for respite for different families.

Cottage on Arran

Magical: the cottage in Lamlash, Arran where Beatson families can enjoy holidays this summer

“It’s young families dealing with cancer. It’s something I wanted to do for these families.

“Arran is a magical place that my family enjoys – we wanted to share what we have with others.”

Angela’s first book Thumble Tumble and the Ollpheist was published in August 2015.

The second novel, Thumble Tumble and the Cauldron of Undry was published in Oct 2016, and the third, in September last year, was Thumble Tumble and the Eagalach Cup.

The written word has been a very powerful driver of funds for the Beatson.

In 2016, Angela auctioned a character in the third book in the series at the Beatson Annual Ball raising £3,750.

And this year at the Beatson Burns Supper, she auctioned two indiviual week stays in her cottage on Arran – securing £15,600 for the charity.

Angela Proctor and Beatson

Charity: Angela’s books and auctions have raised thousands of pounds for the Beaston Cancer Centre

Angela says: “My whirl wind journey to becoming an author has let me experience so many things I would otherwise never have done.

“In two years I have published three books, attended dozens of charity events, read to children who are terminally ill, visited over 150 schools reading to over 15,000 children, created 3 book competitions with over 4,000 children participating, brought a host of visitors to Arran, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I still miss my mum every single day, but I now feel as though an enormous amount of good has come from my loss through the ‘real’ magic in my books.”

“I still miss my mum every single day, but I now feel as though an enormous amount of good has come from my loss through the ‘real’ magic in my books.”

Angela Proctor

Grace Stewart, Beatson Cancer Charity’s head of patient and family support, said: “Beatson Cancer Charity is absolutely thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful opportunity to our patients and their families, who may be in need of a break.

“We are very grateful to Angela for giving patients the use of her beautiful cottage and we’re sure it will prove very popular.”

* For information about Angela’s books visit: www.thumbletumble.co.uk